One fine spring day, a down-at-heel minstrel is walking along the seashore, when he comes across a beautiful egg. To help it hatch, he plays a special tune on his harp. The shell cracks open and out comes the oddest little creature the minstrel has ever seen: a dragon pup, no bigger than a kitten. The minstrel takes the little creature, now named ...
One fine spring day, a down-at-heel minstrel is walking along the seashore, when he comes across a beautiful egg. To help it hatch, he plays a special tune on his harp. The shell cracks open and out comes the oddest little creature the minstrel has ever seen: a dragon pup, no bigger than a kitten. The minstrel takes the little creature, now named Lucky, back to his lodging and feeds it and from that day on, the two are inseparable. Lucky lives up to his name, bringing the minstrel good fortune until, one dark autumn night, he is stolen. Sadly, the minstrel wanders the land in search of his friend. But will they ever be reunited? Rosemary Sutcliff's books include "The Eagle of the Ninth", "The Lantern Bearers" (winner of the Carnegie Medal), "Warrior Scarlet", "Chess-Dream in a Garden" and versions of Beowulf, Tristan and Iseult and the King Arthur legends. Emma Chichester Clark has written and illustrated "Listen to This", which won the Mother Goose Award in 1988. She has also illustrated "Cissy Lavender", "Good Night, Stella", "The Haunting of Pip Parker", "Ragged Robin" and "I Never Saw a Purple Cow").
Publishers Weekly, 1993-04-12 Often, art as splendid as that created here by Clark ( Listen to This ; Beware of the Aunts! ) overshadows the narrative it illustrates. Not so in this case, since the late Sutcliff's deftly told tale proves as captivating and as timeless as Clark's richly hued oil pastel paintings, allegedly inspired by the work of Piero Della Francesca. These are illustrations in the best sense of the word: through their expressiveness--and careful coordination with the narrative--the story can practically be followed without benefit of text. An exquisite overall design makes this a truly elegant package--both text and paintings are set off in double-ruled borders against marbled black backgrounds; striking mosaic endpapers are echoed in spot-art designs throughout. And the story itself, though a bit long for the standard picture-book format, is a charmer. A minstrel who sings for his supper finds an unusual egg while walking on a beach. Hoping to encourage it to hatch, he plays ``a tune for waking up to''; when a dragon pup emerges, the minstrel names him Lucky. As they wander from town to town, the two grow very close, and the minstrel ``made the best songs he had ever made.'' After a scheming traveling showman steals Lucky, the minstrel is devastated, and his suppers get smaller as his songs grow sadder. A kind king and his gravely ill son play important roles in the heartwarming reunion between man and pet, in a conclusion that will elicit smiles from little ones and gratified sighs from their elders. And--from everyone--the desire to start the story all over again. Ages 5-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1996-01-22 In a starred review, PW called this tale of a minstrel who discovers an unusual egg "captivating" and "timeless," and, combined with Clark's Piero della Francesca-inspired artwork, "a truly elegant package." Ages 5-up. (Feb.)
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